Memory Alpha

Mike Sussman

Redirected from Michael Sussman

42,324pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Discuss3 Share
Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Michael "Mike" David Sussman (born 22 June 1967; age 49), often credited as "Mike Sussman", was a writer and producer of many Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise episodes.

By 1975, at the age of eight, Sussman was already a huge Trekkie and had begun writing fan fiction stories set within the Star Trek universe. As a teenager in the early 1980s, he petitioned his local UHF station to resume airing syndicated episodes of the original Star Trek series.

Sussman made his first professional sale to the Star Trek franchise in 1995 when he wrote the story for the acclaimed Star Trek: Voyager episode "Meld". He contributed three more episodes as a freelance writer before joining the writing staff as a story editor for Voyager's seventh and final season in 2000. When Voyager wrapped the following year, Sussman was hired as a writer and Executive Story Editor on Enterprise, and was eventually promoted to Co-Producer. During that show's third season, Sussman was promoted to Producer, a position he held until the series was canceled in 2005.

Debuting with a relatively large audience, Enterprise quickly lost viewer-ship and inspired criticism of both the series and its creators, with fans – and as it turned out after-the-fact by production staffers as well – criticizing alleged violations in established continuity. With the additional failure of Star Trek Nemesis at the box office in 2002, outspoken critics vehemently clamored for the removal of the "current leadership of the franchise from their positions, including Rick Berman, Brannon Braga, and their entire staff". [X]wbm In the wake of this fall-out, Paramount Television and UPN indicated its cancellation and the apparent end of Berman's tenure as the overseer of Star Trek productions by the end of the third season of Enterprise. Whether or not influenced by the vocal criticism, and though retaining their official credit, franchise management indeed virtually relegated Berman and Braga to the role of figurehead, and their places were de facto relinquished to Manny Coto, when he was subsequently put forward as the show runner, as was conceded by Braga in 2007. [1] Sussman became Coto's number two man in running the, what turned out to be, last season, and under their tenure much of the perceived continuity violation was redressed, aided by writers such as Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, who, like them, had an equally thorough understanding of original Star Trek-lore.

Aside from fulfilling his producer duties for the season, Sussman also wrote several of its episodes, and his most popular episodes were arguably, "In a Mirror, Darkly" and "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", the first Star Trek episodes to take place entirely in the mirror universe without any cross-overs from the prime universe. Sussman showed his affection and knowledge of the original Star Trek series by canonically tying these episodes in with the Original Series episodes "Mirror, Mirror" and "The Tholian Web". Sussman even made a cameo appearance in Part II, as a dead crewman aboard the USS Defiant.

Despite the success of "In a Mirror, Darkly," the ultimate cancellation of Enterprise ended every chance of seeing Sussman's story continue in future canon episodes. However, he has followed up his "Mirror, Darkly" episodes by writing the story for "Age of the Empress". "Twilight", written by Sussman, was broadcast on 8 April 2005 as the "#1 Fan Favorite Episode" of the series, chosen in a Viewer's Choice poll at The readers of Star Trek Magazine chose Sussman's "In a Mirror, Darkly" as the best episode of Enterprise in their 40th anniversary reader poll, published in January 2006. He was credited as a writer on both the 600th live action episode of Star Trek, VOY: "Author, Author", as well as the 700th episode of the franchise, ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly".

M. Sussman, a name on the dedication plaque of Enterprise NX-01, was named after him as well as the Vulcan fight technique Suus Mahna in the episode "Marauders". Together with Phyllis Strong he recorded audio commentaries for the episode "Dead Stop" and "Regeneration" on the ENT Season 2 DVD and with Tim Gaskill commentaries for the episodes "In a Mirror, Darkly" and "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II" on the ENT Season 4 DVD. Still, for all his acclaimed work on the franchise, Sussman's most endearing contribution, at least where the fan community was concerned, were his (co-)efforts to firmly ground Enterprise, so close to becoming disavowed by the fan base as being Star Trek altogether [X]wbm, within the Star Trek prime universe framework, and he has been featured in interviews for several magazines on his work, some of them headed with meaningful titles as "The Write Stuff" or "Renaissance Sussman", clearly reflecting the sentiment.

Sussman revisited his Enterprise contributions, when he spoke at length in an indepth interview, spread over several special features, especially produced by Roger Lay, Jr. for the 2014 Season 3 and Season 4 Blu Ray set releases.

Career outside Star Trek Edit

Mike Sussman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but spent most of his youth in the Gulf Coast resort town of Sarasota, Florida. After studying film and screenwriting at Florida State University, Sussman began his television career as a newscast producer for Sarasota's ABC affiliate, WWSB-TV. While there, he produced the station's eleven o'clock news, as well as their 1992 Presidential Election coverage. Soon after relocating to Los Angeles he began writing for KCAL-TV's Emmy Award-winning Prime 9 News.

After Enterprise, Sussman was hired as a writer and Supervising Producer on Brannon Braga's short-lived CBS alien-invasion drama series, Threshold. Among the regular actors on this series was Star Trek: The Next Generation star Brent Spiner. Sussman wrote two of the episodes of this series, "Pulse" (episode six) and "Vigilante" (episode twelve, guest-starring Jacqueline Kim) before the series was pulled from the CBS schedule.

He was also a writer and Co-Executive Producer on Sam Raimi's Legend of the Seeker, the syndicated fantasy/adventure series from Disney-ABC Domestic Television and ABC Studios, based on Terry Goodkind's The Sword of Truth series of novels. This series was executive produced by Kenneth Biller.

Sussman is a Creator and Executive Producer of Perception, a one-hour drama series for TNT and ABC Studios that premiered in 2012, starring Emmy-winner Eric McCormack as a crime-solving neurology professor. The series also features LeVar Burton in a recurring role as Paul Haley, McCormack's supervisor at the fictional Chicago-Lake Michigan University. Perception has been renewed for a fifteen-episode third season, premiering in the summer of 2014.

Star Trek credits Edit

Star Trek interviewsEdit

See also Edit

External links Edit

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.